John Wesley has become one of my heroes. John had his issues but he spoke prophetically in a time in which we needed a strong prophetic voice. He spoke against slavery very early on, I believe his was one of the first voices to publicly criticize it.
In one of his sermons, he said that the blood of slaves had stained everything the people owned, they all had blood on their hands. I've often wanted to just stand and read this sermon and ask people to think about whose blood is on our hands today. I'd offer that they think about workers getting paid 16 cents an hour and threatened with rape, migrant workers who receive nothing close to a decent wage and no health insurance. I know there are many more people whose blood we have on our hands every time we shop--nearly everywhere we shop.
He wanted to start a renewal movement, to get a spark bursting in the churches and he reluctantly helped to start a new church. I think he'd be saddened by the UMC--how big and bloated its become, how far we've gotten from taking care of the poor and placing a spark of the Holy Spirit within our people's lives. We need another person of passion to begin a renewal or perhaps a Methodist revolution!
Okay, one last thing, John Wesley was attacked by dogs, folks threw rotten food at him, chased & beat him at times and yet he kept preaching--we all need such courage and determination!
Thanks be to God for the life of John Wesley!